by Dietrich “Deech” Kirk
When I was younger, I sometimes got confused about who was in charge of the church. I seemed to be the only one who knew the church had problems, and if a few others knew, well, I knew how to solve the problem. It was a lot like going through adolescence with my parents.
One of our jobs as youth ministers is to support our pastor. He or she may not be Rob Bell or Adam Hamilton (and if we worked for them, they would have issues, too), but it does not matter. God and the Body of Christ have placed him or her at the head of your church, not you. Here are some simple ways to support your pastor:
If you don’t pray for your pastor daily, I have to ask “why not?” She is in a position of great influence and responsibility. Pray for her to have a discerning heart, a vision for the future, and strength to lead. Pray for her family, for her spouse, and children. Pray for her the way you hope she prays for you!
As a staff member, you will be asked what you think about the pastor regularly. Will you lift him up or tear him down? Save your criticism for the safety of your covenant group or spouse. When you are with the congregation, your job is to lift up the pastor, to help him see strengths he may not see, and to support his vision for the church. If you do not, then you need to consider whether you can work for that person.
Get to know your pastor. Ask questions about her life, family, etc. Don’t only talk to her about work. Very few people treat pastors like they are people with lives outside of the church. You know how that feels, so take the time to care.
There are countless reasons for you to communicate what is going on in the youth ministry to your pastor. The most important is that, ultimately, he or she is responsible for the youth ministry. (Really?) Yes, really. Where does the congregation go if they have issues with you? You got it.
So, part of supporting your pastor is keeping him or her in the loop with what is happening in the youth ministry. I recommend that at least once a month you go to lunch one-on-one with your pastor to get to know each other better and to keep him or her informed.
If you support them, then, they should support you, too. Thanks to Mark Matheny, Jim Glass, David Comperry, James King, Howard Olds, Cliff Wright, Martin Theilen, and, now, Davis Chappell, for supporting me.
How do you view your role as it relates to your pastor? Share your ideas on other ways we can support our pastors!
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.